Anxiety is the worst—your stomach ties in knots. You sweat. Your heart rate seems to be sprinting.
And let's not even start on all the anxious thoughts. We’ve been there. Is your little one having a hard day because they’re worried about something? That can almost be harder to handle than your own anxiety symptoms.
We know how much mental health matters to you and your family, so we’ve made you a list of ways to stop nerves in their tracks in a healthy way.
1. Essential Oils
Essential oils can work wonders on anxiety and have been used to combat anxiety symptoms for years in kids and adults.
Valerian, basil, bergamot, chamomile, and lavender oil are fantastic when used in diffusers, roll-ons, or other on-the-go solutions, like patches.
Curate a calming space in your home with diffusers. These little wonders create a relaxing zone for you and your family by filling the room with the helpful powers of essential oil aromatherapy.
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Diffusers are easy to find because they’ve become so popular over the last few years. You can even find diffusers for your car if you’re on the go, combatting anxiety on the way to school, soccer practice, or a PTA meeting.
Throw a few drops of your favorite calming essential oils into your diffuser with some water, and you’re well on your way to feeling your and your kiddos’ anxieties lift away.
Essential oils can be used as topical anxiety relief, too. You can purchase roll-on essential oils or create your own blends with a carrier oil that dilutes the oil for topical application.
This is a fantastic solution if you’re heading into everyday situations that trigger anxiety where you can’t bring your diffuser, like parent-teacher conferences or nerve-wracking pediatrician appointments.
If you are going to massage essential oils into your skin, it's best to do a tester patch first. After the application, look for physical symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction or rash. Keep in mind that a carrier oil is... essential for this.
Did you know there are vitamins you and your family can take to combat anxiety? These specially crafted supplements are designed to keep anxiety far, far away using natural anxiety-busting ingredients.
Before adding any supplements to your regiment, be sure to speak to a health professional.
Valerian works wonders as an essential oil, but it can be taken as an oral supplement, too. Valerian root has a long history as a calming agent, and it's also a great go-to if you or your kids are having trouble with sleep. Knock out anxiety and insomnia with this vitamin in a one-two punch.
Whether you prefer an oral vitamin or a calming tea, passionflower has your family covered.
Passionflower provides a calming effect and acts as a mood enhancer. It can also help you and your family members get enough sleep. Make this part of your family’s evening routine to support sweet dreams for all.
3. EFT Tapping
EFT Tapping combines acupressure with distraction techniques and self-assessment to help you center yourself and calm your anxiety.
So, how can you try EFT Tapping or teach your little ones?
Follow the process below:
Step 1. Find Out What Is Bugging You
Figuring out why you’re anxious might be super simple. Maybe all that caffeine led to some unwelcome heart palpitations?
Sometimes, though, intense anxiety comes from a bunch of little things. Maybe your kid has an upcoming test that has left them reeling, maybe they’re fighting with a typically trusted friend, or maybe they have no idea what’s on their mind.
Getting to the root of the issue is the first step to dealing with it. Being in the habit of writing your worries and thoughts in a journal may be particularly helpful. You can use it to keep track of the events that seem to send your nervous system into overdrive or just use it to vent.
Step 2. Decide How Worried You Really Are
Rank the anxiety on a scale of 1-10, with one being just a bit anxious and 10 being crippling anxiety that doesn’t allow you or your child to continue with your day.
Step 3. Adjust Your Perspective
EFT Tapping combines positive thinking with action. Think, “Even though ______ is causing me anxiety, I am okay,” or “Even if ______ happens, I completely accept myself.”
The intention of this practice is not to minimize the stressor but to remind yourself and your kiddos that you will all make it through this moment. Feelings of anxiety may be tricky to reason with, but with some adjusted perspective (often associated with CBT—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), it can be rather helpful.
Step 4. Tap It Out
Use your fingers to tap the following areas seven times per zone:
- Top of the Head
- Side of the Eye
- Under the Eye
- Under the Nose
- Beginning of the Collarbone
- Under the Arm
You might have to show your little ones how to do this if they’re younger, but you can make this a fun bonding activity in the middle of a stressful day.
Step 5. That’s a Wrap
End your EFT Tapping session by checking in with your feelings. Talk it out with your little one and see how your anxiety now compares to your anxiety at the beginning of this experience. Once you’ve improved your outlook, you and your family can return to your day.
4. ZenPatch: Calming Stickers
Calming stickers help you and your family decrease your anxiety without any complicated procedures, bulky diffusers, or messy oil pots. Unlike vitamins, you and your family can use these stickers as many times as you’d like throughout the day, so you’re prepared whenever anxiety strikes.
At The Natural Patch Co., we make mood calming stickers called ZenPatch with a researched blend of essential oils. You can harness the powers of mandarin, sweet orange, atlas cedarwood, lavender, and vetiver to bring the zen.
This ZenPatch is a kid-friendly way to decompress, and it can even help you and your family sleep at the end of a stressful day. Just peel and place the adorable sticker anywhere on your or your family’s clothes, and you’re ready to chill out.
These patches are safe for anyone over age two, and they’re beloved by parents and kids alike.
Exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety naturally. Exercise is a fun distraction from whatever’s on your mind, and it helps your body release natural hormones and endorphins that bring happiness. Exercise can reduce cortisol levels, lower your blood pressure, and help with muscle relaxation.
Check out this list of easy exercise ideas for the whole family:
- Take a walk around your neighborhood
- Do some yoga combined with deep breathing
- Ride your bikes to your favorite local spot
- Play tag with your kids
- Spend time pulling weeds or digging in the garden
Not only will these outdoor activities help banish your negative thoughts, but they’re also a fun way to bond with your loved ones.
Your Anxiety Toolbox
These anxiety-soothing tools can help you and your family get in a peaceful headspace the next time feelings of worry and stress rear their ugly heads.
Try some essential oils to apply topically or in a diffuser, try EFT tapping, exercise, or grab your favorite calming patches from The Natural Patch Co.
The Natural Patch Co. makes our all-natural ZenPatches to provide soothing relief from anxiety for those over two. Our adorable animal-shaped stickers use essential oils to relax children and adults dealing with anxiety.
Some anxiety requires more than lifestyle changes, such as adding in yoga, meditation, or similar relaxation techniques. Panic attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and more might require a trip to your clinical psychologist or therapist.
Hungry for more knowledge? Check out these blogs, written for parents just like you.